iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 11 – kadai ninRu

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emperumAn asks AzhwAr “you are saying ‘protect me’ and putting all the responsibility on my head. Shouldn’t there be some benefit or the other with you also?” to which AzhwAr responds saying “one can attain other deities and ask for very low benefits only such as swargam (heaven); is it possible for one to know about you, who are absolutely unquantifiable, and attain you?  Who can know about your divine feet and attain you, who can remove the sorrows of having attained other deities? Who can attain you, after knowing your simplicity?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kadai ninRu amarar kazhal thozhudhu nALum
idai ninRa inbaththarAvar pudai ninRa
nIrOdha mEni nedumAlE nin adiyai
yArOdha vallAr avar

Word by Word Meaning

(samsAris (dwellers of materialistic realm))
amarar kadai ninRu – standing at the doorstep of other deities
nALum – at all times
kazhal thozhudhu – falling at (their) feet

(without realising salvation)
idai ninRa inbaththar Avar – they will realise the pleasures lying in-between (such as heaven etc)
pudai ninRa nIr Odham mEni nedumAlE – Oh the supreme being who is having the form of ocean which is surrounding this world!
nin adiyai – your divine feet
Odha vallAr avar yAr – is there anyone who can think of? (there is no one)


kadai ninRu – standing at the door step of various deities at the places of their dwelling. kadai  – door step.

amarar – these deities are called as amarar (immortals) as they live for a few years longer [than we]. vEdham says “na brahmA nESAna:…” (not brahmA, not ISan [the deity for creation and destruction as ordained by emperumAn] have seen SrIvaikuNtam). Not realising that these deities also get destroyed one day, the samsAri [dweller of materialistic realm] thinks that they are immortals.

amarar kazhal thozhudhu – the samsAri keeps falling at the feet of such deities, one after another. These deities, unlike emperumAn, are not capable of granting all wishes of a samsAri. Hence the samsAri keeps falling at the feet of each of these deities to get each wish granted.

nALum thozhudhu – these deities keep asking for various things to satisfy themselves such as infant or goat or rooster etc and are difficult to worship. Thus, until they grant him his wish, the samsAri has to keep holding on to their feet, for a long time. These deities are unlike emperumAn who had mercifully said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 9-26pathram pushpam palam thOyam…” (worship me with a leaf, or a flower or a fruit or water). Even after worshipping them in such a hard way, what can these deities grant?

idai ninRa inbaththar Avar – they [those who worship these deities] will get to experience comfort in swargam (heaven) which is neither here nor there, and is more of a hurdle. They do not enjoy you as in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) like mukthars and nithyars. They do not stay here (on earth) like us, worshipping you and expecting to reach SrIvaikuNtam soon. Since it [heaven] is a place full of egotists and they stay for a long time, as said in mudhal thiruvandhAdhi 56kadikkamalaththil uLLirundhum kANgilAn kaNNan adikkamalam thannai ayan” (even though brahmA is residing in the fragrant lotus flower which grows out of emperumAn’s navel, he does not get to worship the divine feet of emperumAn) they do not worship you to get uplifted and merely enjoy the mediocre comforts such as swargam etc. How ignorant is this!

But why do they carry out such a foolish act? It is because they do not know your greatness, says the AzhwAr

pudai ninRa nIrOdha mEni – AzhwAr mercifully describes about the divine form of emperumAn which removes the ennui of those who have dharSan (audience) of his divine form. His divine form has the complexion of the ocean which surrounds the earth. Is it only the divine form?

nedumAlE – Oh one who has immeasurable greatness of AthmasvarUpam (nature of emperumAn’s soul)!

nin adiyai OdhavallAr avar yAr – Is there anyone here who, knowing that you are greater than everyone else, attains your divine feet as the ultimate benefit through worship etc? There are many in this world who attain other deities for lowly benefits. The opinion here is that even among those who worship emperumAn, there are very few who consider him as both the means and the benefit. Hasn’t emperumAn himself said in bhagavath gIthA 7-19 “vAsudhEvas sarvam ithi sa mahAthmA sudhurlabha:” (those great souls who consider emperumAn as everything are very rare)!

There is another interpretation to this pAsuram.

amarar – other deities such as brahmA, rudhra et al

kadai ninRu – holding on to the door of your temple

kazhal thozhudhu – worshipping your divine feet

nALum idai ninRa inbaththar Avar – instead of enjoying you as the ultimate goal, they will seek positions such as brahmA, rudhra, indhra etc, similar to asking for loin cloth from a wish fulfilling tree such as kaRpakam (a celestial tree). AzhwAr feels sad about the ignorance of such people. Hasn’t nammAzhwAr too divinely mentioned in his thiruviruththam 92 “ninnai viNNOr thAL nilam thOyndhu thozhuvar nin mUrththi pal kURRil onRum kANalum aNgol enRE vaigal mAlaiyum kAlaiyumE” (the celestial entities will worship you everyday both in the morning and in the evening, with their feet firmly rooted to the ground [so that you would get rid of their enemies and] not because they wish to see one of your varied forms)! nammAzhwAr conveyed the same meaning in bhUdhaththAzhwAr’s verse “nin adiyai yAr Odha vallAr” in his verse “nin mUrththi pal kURRil onRum kANalum Angol enRE

We shall take up the 12th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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